LISTEN TO YOUR HEART ISN’T JUST A ROXETTE SONG
By Kat Byles, True Business School
In business, following your head rather than your heart is often touted as sage advice. But is it? Business conducted from the head can become distorted by misguided ego agendas, assumptions, limiting beliefs and what worked in the past. Steve Jobs, acknowledged as one of the most prolific businesspeople of our time, implored us to have the courage to follow your heart and intuition – they somehow know what you truly want to become.
Our soul’s calling and creative expression can be ignored in pursuit of profit, and our relationships and health can deteriorate as we burn out.
This is where I found myself as a global communications director working with some of the biggest names in sport at just 42. Leaving my career behind, I followed my heart to Antigua and Barbuda. Immersion in nature restored my wellness and fed me with inspiration for True Business, a ground-breaking business model that leads with your heart.
Taking this radical leap of making the wisdom of your heart the creative engine of your business liberates your true nature and purpose: who you are and what you are here for. It is home to your natural talents and gifts, creative potential, and the contribution to the wider world that brings you joy and fulfilment. You are free to bring your whole and authentic self to business.
As your heart guides you to focus on what matters most, resources of time and money are directed efficiently and effectively with minimal waste and distraction.
Here are 5 ways to listen to your heart:
1. Turn down the volume.
Cut out as much external noise causing irritation, overstimulation, and stress to your mind as you possibly can.
Turn off social media, news media, newsletters from experts telling you this is the way to do it. Turn off phone notifications that constantly beep, interrupting your focus and flow, distracting, and pulling on your attention. Cut out stimulants, such as caffeine that can amplify your thoughts, exacerbating unwanted, exhausting thoughts on repeat.
This doesn’t have to be forever. For now, turn down the volume so you can hear your own heart’s wisdom speak to you.
2. Get into nature
Step away from the computer and into the forests, rivers, oceans, meadows and trees. Breathe in the fresh air, move your body, stomp up the hill, get your feet on the earth or sandy beaches, feel silky cool ocean water on your skin. Swim, surf, walk, climb, kayak, snorkel. Let go of your busy, overactive mind and come back into your physical body – natural rhythms rebooting your nervous system.
When working on a problem, you may find solutions come to you after a walk around a lake or through a wood or along a beach. In nature your heart’s wisdom and inspiration more easily reaches you.
Burnt out, over worked, and crippled by thoughts he was failing as a father, South African filmmaker Craig Foster began to immerse himself in nature though freediving. Here he encountered an octopus, which inspired him to pick up his camera again. He went to the sea daily, chronicling the life and intelligence of the octopus and their evolving relationship. This footage became the Oscar award-winning film ‘My Octopus Teacher’, shared with millions globally on Netflix. The natural world opened Craig’s heart, restored his wellness and began feeding him with creative inspiration bringing forth his life’s best work educating us on the beauty of the natural world.
3. Get your pen and paper out
Journaling is a powerful practice for receiving your heart’s wisdom, intuition, and creative inspiration. It can help you become aware of any limitations, doubts, and fears, allow you to clear them, and connect you back to your heart’s wisdom and creative flow.
Julia Cameron’s book, The Artists Way, introduces the morning pages: on waking, three pages or 20 minutes of writing a stream of consciousness to restore and revive your creativity. Try this. Or put pen to paper and journal around what is working in your business, focusing on what you appreciate and what you are grateful for. Soon enough, your heart’s wisdom will share your next clear step forward.
4. Just breathe
Join a group breathwork session where a trained breathwork facilitator guides you through breathing exercises and techniques focusing on your inhales and exhales, to move beyond your mind and into your heart’s clarity and wisdom. Breathwork can also help you move through experiences of anxiety, stress, trauma, pain, grief and depression into deep connection, love, and joy; to release stuck and stagnant energy returning you to creative flow.
5. Practice Meditation
The ancient practice of meditation allows us to connect deeply with the calm, wise, sacred centre of our hearts – our true self.
If your instant thought is along the lines of, I can’t meditate, I don’t know how, I can’t sit still, take a moment to be the compassionate observer of your thoughts and feelings – no judgement, simply notice them. As the witness, you can step beyond your thoughts and feelings into innocence like the Rumi Poem: “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”
Here you are curious, open and deeply receptive. Ask to receive your heart’s wisdom and wait a while in the quiet stillness and to listen. You will hear the calm, wise, deep, direct voice of your heart. The more you practice, the more you can discern your heart from your mind.
Your heart knows who you are and what you are here for; it is always serving your flourishing, creative freedom, and humanity. Find your preferred practice to listen to your heart.
ABOUT KAT BYLES
Kat Byles is the Founder of True Business School, for creatives, leaders and changemakers who want to do business aligned with their true nature and purpose. Kat helps people find their calling and create a business that provides them with wellness, and creative and financial flourishing while making a contribution to humanity.